Alec Baldwin FINALLY hands over his cellphone to cops investigating his accidental killing of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins a month after they requested it
Alec Baldwin has finally handed over his cellphone to cops investigating his accidental killing of a cinematographer a month after they requested it.
The 63 year-old actor’s lawyer Aaron Dyer confirmed the device had been handed over to authorities in Suffolk County, New York, on Friday, close to where Baldwin lives.
It is being sought by Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza and his investigators probing the death of Halyna Hutchins, 42, on the set of Baldwin’s western Rust in Bonanza City, New Mexico, on October 21 last year.
Suffolk County cops have been coordinating with their colleagues in Santa Fe, with the device now set to be passed to them imminently.
Dyer told Deadline: ‘Alec voluntarily provided his phone to the authorities this morning so they can finish their investigation.
‘But this matter isn’t about his phone, and there are no answers on his phone. Alec did nothing wrong.’
He continued: ‘It is clear that he was told it was a cold gun, and was following instructions when this tragic accident occurred.
Alec Baldwin has finally agreed to hand over his phone to sheriff’s deputies investigating his accidental killing of Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins. He is pictured weeping while using his phone in the immediate aftermath of the October 2021 shooting
Baldwin is pictured using his phone in New York City on January 13. He has angrily denied allegations of wrongdoing
‘The real question that needs to be answered is how live rounds got on the set in the first place.’
Baldwin has not been charged with any crime, and denies wrongdoing. Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Department first issued a warrant for the phone on December 16.
District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies said investigators probing the tragedy wanted to ‘obtain any materials’ from Baldwin’s phone that could uncover what led to the shooting.
Hutchins was a married mom of one. Director Joel Souza, 48, was also shot during the accident, but recovered from his injuries.
During a tear-stained interview with ABC News anchor George Stephanopoulos in December, Baldwin said the shooting happened when he was working with Hutchins on how to position a gun for a scene they were about to shoot.
The handset is being sought by Santa Fe County Sheriff Adan Mendoza (pictured in Santa Fe on October 27 2021) and his team of investigators
He said he pulled back the hammer and released it, prompting the gun to fire. Production of the western was canned after the shooting, with allegations of cost-cutting and poor safety practices made against its crew.
Speaking on ABC News, Baldwin said: ‘The best way, the only way, we can honor the death of Halyna Hutchins is to find out the truth.
‘That’s what I’m working toward, insisting on, demanding that the organizations involved in this investigation do everything in their power, everything in their power, to find out what really happened. That’s all that matters.’
Meanwhile, the 24-year-old armorer on the Rust set, Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, filed a lawsuit in a Bernalillo County, New Mexico court on Wednesday that claims Baldwin ignored a request to attend a ‘cross draw’ session about a week before the tragedy.
The rookie armorer also faulted assistant director David Halls for failing to follow set protocol when he allegedly handed Baldwin the weapon without first calling on her to inspect it, according to the lawsuit.
Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins, pictured, was accidentally shot and killed by Baldwin on the set of the movie. Director Joel Souza was also struck, but survived
Baldwin is pictured with fellow cast members and Hutchins, who was a 42 year-old married mother-of-one
Gutierrez-Reed, 24, is suing Seth Kenney and his company PDQ Arm and Prop LLC for allegedly supplying the deadly bullet. Baldwin is not named as a defendant in the suit.
The 24-page document is also rife with details about a set rife with bitter disputes, carelessness and anecdotes that detail a disregard for safety.
Gutierrez-Reed – whose dad is legendary film armorer Thell Reed – said her father worked with Kenney on a previous film, where they trained actors at a licensed shooting range using live ammunition.
Following the workshop, Kenney took a bucket filed with upward of 300 live .45 Colt rounds home, the lawsuit claims. The cache included Starline Brass reloaded ‘live’ rounds – the same type of bullet used during the ‘Rust’ incident.
About a month later, Gutierrez-Reed landed a gig as an armorer and props assistant on ‘Rust,’ where she was tasked with juggling two jobs at once
‘This gun heavy script required Hannah to perform a significant amount of work each day as both an armorer and key props assistant,’ the legal filing said.
She was soon joined on set by props manager Sarah Zachry, who later accidentally fired a blank round at her foot on set, the lawsuit said.
Production of Rust, whose set is pictured in the aftermath of the shooting, was canned in the wake of Hutchins’ death
About 20 minutes after that mishap, Baldwin’s stunt double also accidentally discharged a weapon on set, prompting Gutierrez-Reed to confront her colleague about the sloppy mistakes, the lawsuit said.
When she indicated her intentions of reporting the incident to management, it led to a headed exchange with Kenney, the bullet supplier.
‘Accidental discharges are accidents,’ Kenney said in a text message referenced in the legal filing. ‘We learn and move on, and don’t forget, she’s your boss. Don’t push it.’
On the morning of the shooting, October 21, Gutierrez-Reed said she arrived to the set to find Zachry already in the prop trailer, retrieving fire arms.
She also discovered a full box labeled ‘dummy rounds .45 LC’ that someone placed atop her equipment bag, the lawsuit said.
She believes the box came from Kenney and when she shook it, heard a ‘jingling’ sound which is what it’s supposed to sound like when dummy bullets are being rattled.
Armorer Hannah Gutierrez Reed, pictured, has filed a lawsuit claiming that the Rust set had lax gun safety and that it was a chaotic place to work
Later that morning, she said she, Zachry and another coworker loaded Baldwin’s gun, attempting to use dummy rounds from the box.
‘For Alec Baldwin’s gun, Hannah loaded 4 dummy rounds with holes in them from her pants pocket, a 5th dummy round from the box with a hole in it and attempted to load a 6th dummy round without a hole in it from the box but it would not go into the chamber, and she thought the chamber might need to be cleaned,’ the lawsuit said.
‘Hannah remembers shaking the sixth round to ensure herself that it was a dummy round.’
Kenney texted Gutierrez-Reed after the tragedy and tried to persuade her to lay the blame on the film’s assistant director Halls
Baldwin was then handed the gun and in possession of it from 10 am through 12:30 pm, when the crew broke for lunch, the filing said.
It was stored until 1:30 pm, when she cleaned Baldwin’s gun and inserted another round from the dummy box into it after shaking it to ensure it was not real, the claim said.
‘To the best of Hannah’s knowledge, the gun was now loaded with 6 dummy rounds,’ the claim said. ‘Indeed, Defendants as suppliers of prop ammunition to the Rust set, sold, distributed, and advertised its props as dummy ammunition and not live rounds.
‘Hannah relied upon and trusted that Defendants would only supply dummy prop ammunition, or blanks, and no live rounds were ever to be on set.’
She then delivered the gun to to set church and handed it to Halls, the assistant director, who said he’d be ‘sitting in’ with the gun.
The lawsuit claims Halls later handed the gun to Baldwin without calling on Gutierrez-Reed to inspect it a final time before use.
She said she was tending to her duties as a prop assistant.
‘Knowing that no gun scene was going on at that time according to Halls, and with awareness of COVID protocols and social distancing, Hannah then walked outside the church to prepare her fanny pack for scenes that afternoon and to do some of her prop duties,’ the lawsuit said.
‘Production was behind that day and Hannah was acutely aware of the need to attend to her prop duties as well, for scenes that afternoon.’
Within 15 minutes, cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was shot dead, and director Joel Souza was struck in the shoulder.
The accidental discharge never would have happened if Halls had summoned Gutierrez-Reed to supervise, the court filing said.
Shortly after the shooting, Halls released a statement calling Hutchins his ‘friend’ and asked the industry to ‘reevaluate’ its values.
‘I’m shocked and saddened by her death,’ Halls said. ‘It’s my hope that this tragedy prompts the industry to reevaluate its values and practices to ensure no one is harmed through the creative process again.’
He failed to address reports that he was one of the three people to handle the loaded gun before the tragedy.
Baldwin’s version of the on-set tragedy
‘I’m just showing. I go, “How ’bout that? Does that work? You see that? Do you see that?'”
‘And then she goes, “Yeah, that’s good.”
‘I let go of the hammer, bang. The gun goes off. Everyone is horrified. They’re shocked. It’s loud. They don’t have their earplugs in.
‘No one was — the gun was supposed to be empty. I was told I was handed an empty gun.
‘If they were cosmetic rounds, nothing with a charge at all, a flash round, nothing.
‘She goes down, I thought to myself, “Did she faint?”
‘The notion that there was a live round in that gun did not dawn on me ’till probably 45 minutes to an hour later.’
He added: ‘Well, she’s laying there and I go, “Did she hit by wadding? Was there a blank?”
‘I never pulled the trigger. No, no, no. You would never do that.
‘The gun was supposed to be empty. I was told I was handed an empty gun.
‘Nobody gave a f*** who you are anymore until this. You see a lot of people with their phones now, in a coffee shop,’ he said, showing them filming him.